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They reignited indie-rock with their first album back in 2001, but a lot has changed in the decade that's passed since then. Are The Strokes still worth listening to in 2011?
No doubt by now you’ve heard at least some of The Strokes’ long overdue fourth album, Angles, and we’ll bet a large number of you have already dismissed it as a pompous mess of proggish ego, fuelled by solo success resentment and leather jacket-envy.
And while we’re on the Strokes-bashing bandwagon, we might as well get that ‘vocal’ issue out of the way. It’s common knowledge that chief ego, Julian Casablancas, recorded his vocals separately. And in places, Angles does indeed sound like it was created via email.
Oh, and note to bands: talking about how your next LP is going to be ‘the dogs’ while your current offering is less than a week old never worked for Noel Gallagher, and it won’t work for you.
But let’s back-up, here. Surely bruised egos and in-band friction have always been a cornerstone of electrifying music creation? This is rock‘n’roll, for f*ck’s sake, and if you give it a chance, Angles is a decent - if hard to categorise - collection of ideas.
Sure, first single Under Cover Of Darkness is a tad misleading as a mood-setter for what follows it, but it’s as good as anything The Strokes have done since Is This It. There are hints of a return to the almost reggae influence first heard on Room On Fire, and Casablancas has indulged heavily in his penchant for the electronic eighties.
Live, though, is where the songs really come alive. As a group they might look despondent, but as their respective solo projects have proved, they can all write, play, and look good doing it. Watch Taken For A Fool on Letterman and You’re So Right on Fallon for a fresh perspective.
So quit moaning, The Strokes. You might not be the coolest band on Earth anymore, but some of us have spent the last decade partying like it’s 2001, and you’re in danger of spoiling the party you started… Thomas Porter